A/N: found a beta who was kind enough to edit all of the stories for this series and I'm finally getting around to posting them. Sorry for taking so long Liz! I am working on the next story for this series but it's slow going. Life and a lack of inspiration have been getting in the way, but I'm gradually getting it done.

Rachel Berry let out a small sigh as she set her books down on the coffee table and sat down on the couch. The school day was finally over, and although she had a glee assignment she needed to practice for, she needed this moment to herself even more. School had been a little rougher than normal. She had gotten used to the name calling and the slushie hits a long time ago, but today she had received three slushie facials, and one of the football players went for one of her soft spots. She was used to being called names, but when people made fun of her dads, it really stung – especially when the word "faggot" was involved, like today.

Her eyebrows furrowed and her ears burned when she thought she heard something coming from the kitchen. Her fathers were still at work; she always had two hours after school to herself, and no matter how much she begged and pleaded, her fathers refused to let her have a pet. So there shouldn't be any sounds in the house right now, and she was immediately put on edge.

She slowly walked into the kitchen and looked around. Everything looked the same, nothing seemed out of place, and upon closer inspection, the backdoor was still locked. Maybe it was just her mental stress catching up with her, and she was starting to go a little crazy. She had been on edge all day, from the heated phone call she had that morning, to the bullying in the hall, to keeping up in her honor classes, and Mr. Schue once again relying on her powerful, made-for-Broadway voice to save the solo from failing horribly.

She let out another small sigh and her shoulders relaxed. She decided right then that every day after school she would dedicate half an hour to just relaxing. Everyone was always talking about how high-strung she was. She always thought people were jealous of her ambition, but maybe they were right about her needing to relax some more. She was about to turn around and head upstairs when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her – one around her waist and the other held a hand firmly over her mouth to muffle the scream that was ripped out of her throat. She pulled away and was released without a fight. She turned around, eyes wide, breathing heavy, and as soon as she saw the "attacker," her eyes narrowed in an angry glare.

"You scared the living daylights out of me!" she yelled, as Quinn Fabray stood before her trying as hard as she could to keep her laughter under control. She let out a little huff and smacked the former cheerleader's arm in frustration. That only made the blonde laugh harder, and Rachel crossed her arms over her chest with a huge pout on her face. "It wasn't funny, Quinn." She could tell that the other girl was struggling to get the laughter under control, but was unable to rein it in. "Fine, I guess I'll just put the hide-a-key somewhere else. I'm sure Dad and Daddy will understand when I tell them some pervy blonde was sneaking around the house." That calmed Quinn down just enough to form words, but her breathing was still very heavy.

"Oh come on, you have to admit I got you pretty good," Quinn said, holding back more laughter as the brunette let out another huff and stormed out of the room. The blonde was right on her heels, and a devilish smile pulled at her lips as she chased the brunette up the stairs and into the other girl's bedroom. "Besides," Quinn wrapped her arms around Rachel's waist and rested her chin on the shorter girl's shoulder, "you like how pervy my mind can be. You even said so yourself the last time I was here." She started placing small, open-mouthed kisses along Rachel's neck.

"I did say that, didn't I?" Rachel said, a little bit of her anger dissipating with each gentle kiss. She let out a little sigh, and Quinn turned her around and kissed her on the lips. She lost herself in the feel of it even though she knew she should still be mad. Just because she and Quinn were fooling around under the radar didn't mean the blonde could do whatever she wanted and get away with it. But Rachel knew that wasn't exactly true. She didn't let Quinn get away with everything, especially lately since their time together was starting to become more and more heated. The blonde's hands had developed the uncomfortable habit of slipping places Rachel wasn't ready for them to be, but Quinn always respected Rachel's space when she said no.

"Yeah, and the moan that followed really made the point," Quinn said and trailed her hand up the brunette's tight stomach and cupped one of her breasts, giving it a light squeeze. Rachel let out a moan and her head rolled forward, resting on the blonde's shoulder. She never knew how just one simple touch could affect her so much, but she was learning a lot about herself thanks to the former cheerleader. "Yep, it sounded just like that." Rachel started placing kisses on Quinn's neck. She had a minor fascination/borderline fetish with it, so she indulged every chance she got.

Quinn started backing them up, headed for the bed. The very first time they ever made out on Rachel's bed, it had been a minor disaster on both of their ends. Rachel was going out of her way to make Quinn feel comfortable, and Quinn was trying really hard to get out of her own head and forget about all of the religious guilt she had about the situation. Now they were both very comfortable as they lay down, Rachel resting against the pillows, as Quinn started lightly grinding against the smaller girl.

Rachel ran her hands over Quinn's back, and she felt the blonde smile against her lips. Her brows furrowed a little when she felt Quinn pull back and the blonde grabbed onto her wrists, pinning them to the mattress on either side of her head. Quinn kissed her hard, lips claiming her own, and even though she really wanted to get lost in the moment, there was simply too much on her mind. Her whole body tensed, and Quinn instantly pulled back, her grip on Rachel's wrists softening.

"What's wrong? Was I getting too aggressive?" she asked, looking into Rachel's dark brown eyes with concern written all over her face. Some of her anxiety relaxed when the brunette smiled, even though Quinn could tell it was slightly forced.

"No, you weren't. In fact, at times, your dominant side tends to be overwhelmingly sexy," she admitted, a small blush appearing on her cheeks. Quinn raised an eyebrow and placed a small kiss on Rachel's lips. A part of her wanted to forget the conversation entirely and go back to doing what they seemed to do best, but she knew she couldn't ignore the fact that Rachel was uncomfortable, even if it was only a little.

"I'll save that information for later," she said, trying to keep her tone light and playful, but it was hard. The making out had her painfully turned on and her voice had a raspier quality to it that could not be ignored. Trying to sound playful instead of sexy was difficult no matter how hard she tried. "So if it wasn't me, then what's bothering you?"

Rachel's smile dropped and she broke eye contact with the other girl, instead staring at some random spot on the wall. "Some football player at school said something mean about my dads," she confessed, and Quinn's gut reaction was to ask who it was so she could give him a piece of her mind, but she knew Rachel would never go for it. She lightly ran her fingers through Rachel's hair, making the girl look into her eyes with sadness and a little fear swirling in them. "It just reinforced the fact that coming out as a couple would be a horrible idea. I had three slushie facials today just for being a loser who's in Glee Club. Imagine how bad it would get if I was the gay loser who's in Glee Club."

"Rach," Quinn whispered, her tone full of sadness for the other girl. Rachel couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. She would never get tired of hearing the other girl call her "Rach." "If you came to school on my arm, nobody would mess with you. Well, Santana probably, but she talks trash to everyone." They both let out a light chuckle knowing just how true that statement was.

"That's a very sweet thing to say, but we both know that's not true. You and Finn were still the "it couple" and when you joined Glee the jocks turned on both of you, or are you forgetting that massive slushie-fest the football team dished out?"

Quinn shivered at the memory. "Maybe you're right. But since when do you let fear get in your way? If you gave in to peer pressure, you wouldn't be the sassy, opinionated diva that tries to take over the glee club every chance she gets." The glare that appeared on Rachel's face was hard enough to strip paint off a car and a wave of nervousness washed over Quinn. "Which I find endearing, but everyone else thinks it's really annoying."

"Nice save, Casanova," Rachel said with a little giggle and she kissed Quinn on the lips. The blonde lightly kissed her back, but didn't let it linger. She wanted to finish this conversation, and leaving it where it was would cause things to fester, which was something she really didn't want to happen. "I do see your point, Quinn, but it's different. I'm bossy and I fight for solos and I want my way in Glee Club because it serves a greater purpose. I'm never going to make it on Broadway if I'm not competitive. So people aren't making fun of me as a person, but my ambitions and drive to get out of this town. If we came out, and they made fun of us, I would be crushed."

"Maybe at first, but wouldn't it make you a stronger person, and make you more prepared for the world outside of high school?" the blonde asked.

Rachel lightly bit her lip as she thought about her words. Even if the bullying didn't occur on a daily basis like it did in the halls of McKinley High, there were still bullies in the "real world." Maybe Quinn was right. Maybe their words wouldn't be so hurtful if she got used to them now.

"That's a high possibility," she said and her eyes came back into focus. She looked into Quinn's pretty green eyes and couldn't help but get lost for a moment. She always loved Quinn's eyes, even when they had been sworn enemies. It was clear that the girl was stunning, a perfect example of the European standard of beauty, but there was a deepness to her eyes, a soulfulness, that trapped Rachel every time she took a moment to gaze into them. "I don't mean this as a personal attack, but why are you pushing for this so much? You were the one who suggested we keep this between us."

"Well, maybe I'm tired of keeping it between us. Maybe I'm sick of seeing you be bullied in the hallways, and I have to keep my temper in check so other people don't get suspicious. Maybe I'm fed up with seeing that Jacob kid stare at your ass and having to bite my tongue."

Rachel's eyebrows furrowed a little in confusion at the fire in Quinn's voice. "But we're not even dating. I used to think that making out with someone on a regular basis was dating, but I was lonely and kind of desperate at the time. But this is just harmless experimentation to help us accept our true sexuality, right?"

Quinn let out a little sigh and ran her fingers through Rachel's hair again, lightly scratching her nails along her scalp. The action calmed both of them down and bought Quinn a little time to think about exactly how she wanted to word her response to that question. "That's what it was at first, but since I've gotten to know you, the real you and not the person who's only the ambitious diva, it's different. I have feelings for you, Rachel, and I want all of McKinley High to know it. I want to hold your hand when we walk down the halls and tell the horny boys who stare to save it for their spank bank. I want to defend you when Santana teases you for being short or loud and annoying. I want you to be my girlfriend, and I want to be public about it."

"While I appreciate how romantic that is, it just isn't possible right now. Maybe next year when we're seniors and have more authority over the student body as a whole then it would be safer," Rachel said, running her hands along Quinn's back. She could feel the muscles getting tense and knew the other girl was starting to get frustrated with her. It wasn't surprising. Quinn was used to getting what she wanted, and now Rachel was denying her something she clearly wanted a lot. She just hoped it didn't escalate into a fight.

"So the only reason you don't want to come out is to avoid potential ridicule and harassment about it?" Quinn asked, trying desperately to understand where the other girl was coming from. She wasn't used to this side of the girl she cared for even more than she was willing to admit at this time. She knew Rachel was insecure, had seen that side of her many times, but she never once saw the girl hide a part of herself because of fear.

"Is that so wrong?" Rachel asked, sounding like a scared child. Quinn's heart clenched a little at the sound of her voice. "You saw what happened to Kurt after he came out. He was literally run out of school. Until Santana got Karofsky to apologize and promise not to pick on Kurt anymore, it just wasn't safe." A small smirk appeared on Quinn's face, and Rachel couldn't help but feel a little nervous. For some reason that look always made her feel very nervous.

"So if we could get Santana to come rushing in as a knight in shiny polyester cotton blend than you'd come out?" Quinn asked with a little laugh, and Rachel couldn't help but laugh too. Just the thought of Santana ever coming to her aid was reason enough to laugh, but the visual Quinn's words put in her head was something she almost couldn't handle.

"That's a tad dramatic, even for me, but if there was a way to come out and be safe than I wouldn't be so hesitant," she said and Quinn's eyebrows furrowed again. Rachel was starting to feel a little emotionally drained. After her day in school she just wanted to relax, and this conversation was anything but relaxing.

"You would still be hesitant?" Quinn asked, a twinge of hurt in her voice as she thought of the many possibilities why the brunette may not want to come out as a couple. Was she ashamed of them? Was she ashamed to be seen with Quinn in public because of the reputation the blonde girl now had in the small town?

"Only the normal hesitation that comes with announcing you're in a couple," Rachel quickly stated, putting the obvious fear in Quinn's eyes to rest. "Especially since both of our exes are in Glee and we have to see them every day. I really don't see Finn taking the news well, and Noah would constantly be offering to have a threesome with us."

"Screw them. Their opinions shouldn't matter. If I were a guy, you would tell them to get over it because you've moved on," Quinn said, moving away from Rachel. The anger was obvious in her voice, and the brunette felt like she just screwed up royally by putting her foot in her mouth. She knew she wasn't wrong, but maybe there had been a more delicate way to word that, and perhaps she should have taken the time to find it.

"That may be true, but this situation is different," she said, sitting up on the bed, and Quinn did the same. Her head started pounding in a tension headache, and she wanted nothing more than for this conversation to go away. "We've both been romantically involved with the two of them, and although what Noah and I had was brief and only physical-"

"Are you trying to really piss me off?"

"It still has an impact. I'm not saying we'll never come out and we'll have to stay hidden forever. Maybe if things between us progress and our feelings grow deeper then we'll come out in Glee first, sort of as a trial run for the rest of the school. Then we can start dating properly with romantic dinners and strolls through the park where we hold hands and you serenade me in the moonlight with your beautiful alto."

Quinn smiled a sappy, love struck smile that only a high school girl would do without looking ridiculous. "Ok, that was way too descriptive to be off the top of your head," the blonde said and her smile grew a little bigger when Rachel blushed. "How much thought have you put into this?" She hadn't overlooked the fact that Rachel said nothing about her growing feelings. She confessed that this was no longer an experiment, and the other girl had said nothing about it. She didn't want to focus on that, but she was worried that her feelings were one-sided.

"I may have spent some time fantasizing about it, and there may have also been some doodling in a notebook when I was bored during Honors English," the brunette confessed, her blush growing a little deeper as she spoke. She looked into Quinn's eyes, and she looked so serious it made the blonde's breath catch in her throat for just a moment. She had never seen the diva look so intense, and intense looks were one of Rachel's specialties. "Earlier you said that this isn't an experiment for you anymore, that you have genuine feelings for me, and you're not alone in that at all. I think it's too soon to specify exactly what that means, but I care about you Quinn and I want to be your girlfriend. I'm just too afraid to show that publicly."

Quinn didn't respond verbally. Instead, she leaned over and placed a very gentle kiss on the other girl's lips. Rachel kissed her back, deepening it, trying as hard as she could to show all of her emotions through that one action. She didn't want Quinn to think she didn't care, but she also needed the blonde to understand that she just wasn't ready to be in the spotlight like that. She wanted attention for her talent, not her personal life. She knew Quinn would keep quiet if she wanted her to; she only prayed this wouldn't affect their time together because Quinn Fabray kisses were something she was already addicted to.